Prayer Does it work for you?
DragonBear: Do you believe Prayer works for you? Are you specific when you pray?
Who do you pray for? Do you need a prayer said for you by others today?
For me it works..and I'm usually specific, I pray for my loved ones and I pray for my enemies sometimes..If you need a prayer said for you today just let me know.
My God is Jesus Christ
CoIin: Not so much "attacking", dude, just wondering what the justification is. A claim such as "all my prayers are answered" would be remarkable. A claim such as "Some of my prayers are answered" doesn't seem very remarkable, to me at least.
CoIin: @ sometimes the answer is no
Well, that's my point. Sometimes fortune tellers are wrong too. Tealeaf and animal viscera readers don't always get it right either.
smoke4ever: why don't you try praying to God about something important to you and end the prayer with: in the name of our LORD God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Then see what happens.
But if you never pray, how will you know if it really works?
CoIin: From Wiki - "prayer"
Several studies of prayer effectiveness have yielded null results. A 2001 double-blind study of the Mayo Clinic found no significant difference in the recovery rates between people who were (unbeknownst to them) assigned to a group that prayed for them and those who were not. Similarly, the MANTRA study conducted by Duke University found no differences in outcome of cardiac procedures as a result of prayer. In another similar study published in the American Heart Journal in 2006, Christian intercessory prayer when reading a scripted prayer was found to have no effect on the recovery of heart surgery patients; however, the study found patients who had knowledge of receiving prayer had slightly higher instances of complications than those who did not know if they were being prayed for or those who did not receive prayer. Another 2006 study suggested that prayer actually had a significant negative effect on the recovery of cardiac bypass patients, resulting in more frequent deaths and slower recovery time for those patient who received prayers.
CoIin: @ - But if you never pray, how will you know if it really works?
Dude, I haven't tried bloodletting, but I'm satisfied that it doesn't work.
random1: If the idea of prayer is to lend a comforting idea that someone is listening to your inner thought attentively then yes, I could say prayer has helped comfort me in strange times. Specifically when I was extremely ill, I wanted it gone, and I was reaching out to everything I could. I can say however that specific prayers haven’t been answered in a notable ‘that was god’ fashion. Many would lend that to the ‘god works in mysterious ways’ fashion, and I can say I am healthy today (relatively.) others can easily argue that my immune system fought off the illness. But in times of need reaching out for a comfort such as prayer is convenient, easy, and it helps keep what wits you have. I feel like some of us need that sort of hope to a degree. Examining this need has been a constant give and take with many new problems in my life; but its always there, and its easy to reach for. I think the idea of free will means that were free to pray to whatever we choose, and it also means that it’s a one way street; we will never logically know for sure if our prayers are answered, or if there’s any higher power. But the mind over mater element shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. Stress hurts in physical ways, and asking the ether ‘please don’t’ shouldn’t be an action that’s so quickly to be judged or condemned. If it helps great, but it should never be an action force-fed to anyone. (which it was with me at a young age) I haven’t prayed to anything that isn’t porcelain in a decade. Im a little drunk so im going to bed, everyone have a good night.
Heretix: Whether prayers work or not is basically a subjective matter. But if we look objectively on this issue, we can actually find some interesting indications.
When we "pray to God," what is really happening? We gather our thoughts and focus on an important thing, like the healing of a fellow human being that is suffering from a serious illness. If this person is healed in a "miraculous" way, should we thank God? No, by all means, we have to sharpen up and keep a straight course here. The French author René Aor Schwaller de Lubicz says: "The true God and our human nature is one. All the prayers that are directed towards God are thus directed at ourselves". It is thus our own subconscious mind that eventually has cured the patient and not a divine concept that is created by man. Some healers claim that the healing energy in their hands comes from themselves, while others say that they receive it from God. Both are of course right, in that "God" in this case only can be described as "a part of ourselves" and not something else. We can use Jesus, Fatima, a crystal or a glass of water as "a focus point", but the result is always the same. This has been heavily researched and a study from Minnesota concludes, for example, that "if someone gets cured without the medical expertise understanding why it happens, it could be because one or more people, regardless of what they believe in and which faiths they advocate, have focused so strongly that they are able to influence the lives around them and thus also the health of their fellow men".
There are several individual studies indicating that such activity works. "But if you look at the bigger picture, where you put a lot of studies into a system and consider the overall quality, then the conclusion is fairly negative," writes the Norwegian journalist Astrid Meland.
Many people have a great faith in remote healing and prayer. It is effectively seen as the same, even if you use different designations. We call it "prayer" when it takes place within a religious tradition. Otherwise, it is often called "healing", according to Meland.
She also refers to scientific studies showing that remote healing and prayer are normally not very effective. "Generally speaking, there is no substance in the claim that this has any specific effect," says the Norwegian Kristian Gundersen, a professor of molecular biology at Universitetet i Oslo. When someone prays with the patients, however, the social aspect causes them to be more relaxed and feel better.
Hands-on healing has a long history. Both God and so-called "holy" people have healing powers in the Bible. In the Middle Ages, it was thought that kings were able to heal with their hands. Culturally, there is an important distinction between a folk tradition and neo-religious healing. Folk healers do not call themselves "healer", but analytically speaking, the parallels are obvious.
Such healing methods have been subject to many investigations. In the beginning, they were not conducted according to scientific criteria, when they were initiated by theists or biased parameter psychologists. Therefore, the results were often very positive. Partly, these experiments were also seriously meant, but the expertise to implement them in a scientific context was low. In a report that concluded positively about healing, it appears as if the effect of using an actor is as good as when a genuine healer does the job. It is thus all about the so-called "placebo effect". "To conclude that healing has a special curative effect is therefore wrong," says Kristian Gundersen.
The first neutral experiments with prayer were already completed in the 1870s, when a Briton found that remote prayers do not help. The British royal family was prayed for by all the people every Sunday. But the survey showed that the royals did not live longer than other aristocrats (67 years), actually shorter (64 years). Also priests generally died earlier than most members of the royal family.
Since then, the results of several serious studies show that prayer or distant healing generally does not help. The most comprehensive study ever done on prayer and healing concludes that prayer does not help for heart patients. The study was published in American Heart Journal in 2006. A total of 1800 Christians prayed at a distance for different patients that went through a bypass operation. Those patients that were told that they were prayed for actually remained sicker longer than those that did not know that they were prayed for. In 2007, researchers concluded an analysis of intercession with the same discouraging result. There is also no difference between one person praying for you or if the number is 500.
A survey conducted in 2000 states that remote prayer does not work, but social prayer may have some effect on patients with arthritis that receive close follow-up by prayer and conversation over a long period. When people pray together, this can have a calming relief effect. "But it does not necessarily have as much effect as the attention and monitoring by health professionals in general," says the Norwegian religious historian Asbjørn Dyrendal, who is also an associate professor at Norges Teknisk-Naturvitenskapelige Universitet (NTNU) in Trondheim.
Today, one usually performs so-called "double blind" tests. In the survey, one removes all the other people from the room, so that it rules out the possibility that it is the social contact that can contribute to a positive effect. Likewise, one removes the possibility that the patient knows whether he is being prayed for or not. Neither doctors nor those that administer the test know who receives prayers or remote healing. And then, the effect disappears. "We find no effect when we summarize the science-oriented research," says Asbjørn Dyrendal.
DragonBear: Prayer should be like breathing..something you do everyday to live
If you only use it in small amounts your expectations of results might be set too high.
I try to keep it simple and use prayer to communicate with my Savior Jesus Christ.
Thanks everyone for your comments
CoIin: No, Smoke.
Does prayer work? Does it always work? Does it never work? Does it only work for certain people? Does it only work if certain deities are prayed to? etc etc....
These are questions that will be not be answered in any definitive way by a blithe assertion such as "Prayer works for me".
For those who are sincere about finding an answer to these questions, some method of inquiry will have to be brought to bear on the process.
For those who feel more secure clinging to unchallenged beliefs.... well, why bother debating at all?
(Edited by CoIin)